Grow Bags vs. Plastic Pots - Planting Containers - Bootstrap Farmer

Grow Bags vs. Plastic Pots - Planting Containers

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Grow Bags on Porch

You may wonder, what are the benefits of grow bags versus pots?  Sure, you can find pots online or create pots from just about anything you have lying around so why spend the money on grow bags?

Healthier Plant Roots

In pots, the roots of the plants tend to grow in circles entangling themselves. This increases the likelihood of having oxygenation or water stagnation issues, especially in larger pots that lack proper drainage. When the roots reach the edge of a plastic pot they continue growing in search more water and nutrients only to begin encircling the pot.  This begins the process of structural damage to your plants.  The roots become constricted leading to less water and nutrient intake.  The stem of your plant will also become compressed which leads to tissue damage further restricting nutrient intake.

Grow bags help to alleviate this issue because as the roots come in contact with the edges of the fabric pot they sense the drier soil that is exposed to the air.  At this point they know they have reached their growth limit.  The roots become "air pruned" which is vital to growing healthy plants in containers.  This prevents over growth of roots eliminating girdling roots (roots that damage the structure of the plant).  You will also get many more fibrous roots when air pruned.  A more fibrous root system (many small root tips) allows the plants to take in more nutrients and water.  Plastic potted plants encourage a few large roots to dominate and encircle the pot which constricts nutrient uptake.


Temperature Control

During the heat of summer and in direct sunlight plastic pots can get quite hot.  Since they are not breathable they trap all the heat which can cook your plants.  Grow bags regulate temperature due to their breathable quality.  Excess heat is able to escape from all sides of the grow bag.

Watering Considerations

Since grow bags are porous they require more frequent watering.  However, it is harder to over-water using a grow bag, as any excess moisture is allowed to wick out of the container.  In contrast a traditional pot may need less watering but it is easy to over water.  If you over-water a plant in a traditional pot they could drown and develop mold or fungus.


Where do you store the pots when not in use?  Do they become empty eyesores on the back porch or stacked up in the shed in hopes they don't get crushed or broken in the off season?  Traditional pots will need to be stacked for storage in the off season.  However grow bags can be folded up and stored with minimal space each season.


Grow bags are light weight and usually come with built in handles making them easy to move to different locations.  They are popular among Rv'ers since the can be brought from inside to out with ease and they take up minimal space when storing.  Grow bags can even be planted directly in the ground as they are biodegradable.

Growing Tomato in Grow Bags

Advantages of Grow Bags

  • Healthier Root System - Encourage root pruning rather than root circling
  • Temperature Control - Shed excess heat through breathable fabric
  • Prevents Over-watering - Excess water will percolate through the fabric material
  • Easy Storage - Can we folded up and stored with minimal space
  • Versatile - Can be easily moved or planted directly in the ground

Get Started Growing with Your Grow Bags

Want to grow individual plants or small bunches of herbs?  Try these 5 Gallon Grow Bags.  They are great for tomatoes, peppers, flowers, herbs, potatoes, small fruiting trees, stevia and many more plants.

If you like the idea of having a larger planting area similar to a raised bed you can also purchase these 100 gallon grow bags.  This gives you plant of room to host many plants within a single grow bag.

Click Here to Browse our selection of Grow Bags!